Hey everyone! I’ve noticed a few times now in different topics where people have mentioned how they weren’t 100% sure what parametric meant. Personally, I’ve been a little obsessed with the concept in the last couple years, so I figured I’d make this thread as a place to let everyone discuss what this whole ‘parametric’ buzzword is all about.
So, what does parametric mean? In the simplest terms, something parametric is anything with a final form controlled by a series of variables. As the variables change, so does the form.
So, rather than modelling a cube by drawing a 6" x 6" square and lofting it 6" high, you would establish rules, or parameters, saying length=x, depth=y, and height=z. That means if you decide later than you want your cube to be 8" high, rather than remodeling your form all you would have to do is go to your height parameter and change height=6" to height=8". Then, your final cube form will update itself to reflect the change. For example, here’s a link showing just how many options you can build into a parametric box builder:
This parametric ability isn’t just limited to 3D forms, either! You can have scripts that will output linework, even svg. files for direct laser cutter use. Here is a website full of parametric templates for packaging:
Super awesome, right? Especially when you start expanding from cubes and getting into more complicated geometry. One of the more crazy examples I can think of that utilizes parametric modeling is the design firm Nervous System, who will let you control and customize the forms of their 3D printed jewelry:
Hope this thread will start to clear things up for everyone!